Panasonic Viera TX-L32C3B review
32in, Freeview HD, 1,366x768 resolution, 3D: no, 2x HDMI
It might only have a 32in display, but Panasonic’s L32C3B uses a high-quality IPS LCD panel that greatly improves viewing angles compared to TVs equipped with more basic TN screens. However, with prices hovering around £350, we were interested to see if corners had been cut in order to fit IPS technology into a budget TV.
Our first impressions were positive; it might be made from glossy plastic which attracts dust and fingerprints, but the overall design of the TV is fairly attractive. Viewing angles were expectedly fantastic, with practically no colour degradation even when viewing the TV at an extreme side-on angle.
Connectivity is somewhat limited with two HDMI ports, component video, a single SCART socket and an SD card reader for playing multimedia files without the need for a separate media streamer. Although there’s an Ethernet port, it’s only useful for downloading firmware updates, as there’s no access to on-demand TV services. Note the absence of a VGA input, too.
Watching Free-to-air television broadcasts, we immediately noticed how natural the colours looked. Even before we’d used the menus to fine-tune the image, everything looked bright and well-defined. Low-bitrate channels such as BBC News suffered from noticeable artefacts, but this is to be expected; high-quality channels fared much better. It's good to see a Freeview HD tuner, even though most programmes are broadcast in 1080i, which is greater than the native 1,366x768 resolution of the panel. It was much easier to pick out details compared to SD broadcasts, albeit not quite as sharp as on a Full HD set. Annoyingly, as with all Panasonic TVs, there's no video thumbnail or audio when viewing the EPG.